New Study May Have Identified Cause of Alzheimer’s

Researchers in Australia studied the blood-brain barrier to better understand the why and how of Alzheimer’s disease.

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CDC data estimates there are 5.8 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in America, however the neurodegenerative disease still largely remains a mystery. A recent MedicalNewsToday article reported on new findings that shed some light on the cause of Alzheimer's. Researchers in Australia conducted a study that shows an abundance of potentially toxic fat-protein complexes in blood can damage capillaries in the brain and cause inflammation and brain cell death.

To test this, the team used two mouse models: a genetically modified group with livers that produce the protein-fat complex that is suspected to cause Alzheimer’s, and an unmodified control group. Both groups were subjected to a fear-motivated memory test for cognitive functions. They then harvested tissue samples from the mice including liver, brain, lung, and duodenum. They found that the dysfunction in the blood-brain barrier led to the protein-fat complexes leaking from the blood into the brain, where it caused inflammation. The team found that a marker of neurodegeneration was roughly two times greater in the test mice than in the control group.

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